WRITING & POEMS
Published on Medium
First Published on Medium April 2 2020
The crow on High street says there’s more to come. I’m just a wandering salesman with nothing else to do these days than listen. Fourteen miles I walked, taking one pace every day. Progressing through the muck of my indeterminant will, the sea swept breeze over my face til I fell over.
The fountain maps the valley, maps the area of sky to pay attention to. The waters crystal, the oceans pure. The listener of the galactic tribe remembers thousands of articles to the effect. The juice tastes randomly these Latin hours. The filament abruptly snaps in half.
The patience in my house wears then, the fireplace burns the wrappers on the candy we saved for latter day. The letters from seven years ago burn steadily in the flame, its heat makes us firey, its heat makes us candid over our strain.
The leaves dimple heavenwards and flow. I rock back and forth in the window, making waves no one can see but everyone hears from the street. The elevation makes the brow condense, I am reminded every so often to become more like feathers and less like rain, but mountains still hiss under floorboards, and I’m still a minstrel in a court of birds.
The sun showers us on certain days, but is also keeping himself away from view, away from this pageantry. I listed these things on the backs of ochre wood and rested the last in chairs. Minutes away from forgetting I belong here, I settle into observance and recall a wasteland. The wasteland was a place you had to cross, with the devil on your back and your angels as far as your thoughts. It is a heavy place, the product of accident. No one ever intended for the wasteland to accumulate; wastelands occur when the buildup of default movies reaches reality and falls to the ground like dust. We write our default movies to entertain the ones we’re scared are real, all the ghosts we invented in our beds. In our sleep, we recount the stories they told us about ourselves so we’d forget ourselves.
The fountain showers its rays, sends its droplets overseas, to other planets and their stars. The whole galaxy is waking up to this pressure, a sight to see, a world asleep.
Good Morning planet
First Published on Medium April 1 2020
Good morning, planet.
You’re surviving a lot better than some of us lately.
It’s alright. It’s our turn. We’ve been asleep for epochs.
We admired you while we turned down the lights on you, good for us.
Today is Saturn’s purging. Deep in thought, macro microscope.
Eleven bushels of grain, each for the taking. The overslept took more than was their share one time, but now the air is clear. The thoughts keep drowning out their competition, but we still find ourselves right here.
There are so many soldiers now, so many minstrels in waiting, gardens at ease.
All the missionaries come to call these days, like a light switch has been thrown.
Where were you all those years I waited grinding, mortar and pestle in my guts against the radar of the sea? It doesn’t matter now, your light is on. Attention in the winds of the unseen.
I take no shame in thriving in this place, I take no shame like Nature takes no shame.
Good morning, planet, you were on life support a time, you stand without a blink. It’s time.
An awestruck moment, grinding to a halt and seeing the billion butterfly sun take shape in the sky.
First Published on Medium Mar 29 2020
The mountain is mighty, the mountain is here. Sprung up from ground, engulfing skyscrapers, but no one can see it yet, only the birds change their paths.
Its electric colors burn the sky, its peak tunes in for signals from the stars. Eighteen acres wide and forty deep, this range blasts through the sand and water, brings with it fire from far beneath where tread the human feet and speak the human deeds.
That fire is purple and unknown to all our sciences. It whistles as it drifts through amethyst mines, glowing as it passes by crystal bears and cave rats, till it funnels to the top of mount entropy and releases a tune, smoke as loud as rainbows, illuminating the sky with the darkness of unmet shadows.
There’s a boundary being drawn between two styles: two styles of living, two styles of dying, two styles of knowing what we are and what we’re here to do. Everyone is drifting to their clubs now, drifting to the future they’ve been dreaming of. Soon there will be mountains where there were valleys, oceans where there were deserts, deserts where there were seas. The earth is ready for it to start now, the beginning starts with a closing out of the past waves, the past winds and the past deeds.
The previous life of every sovereign is turning into a single cloud now, glowing with the vapors of the earth’s deep-sleeping cousins far beneath. Light one final match and release it into space, and let it dream for all time.
Beneath the sky, the invisible mountain rises, calling its climbers before they’re born, before they know their names. Future gifts for the volcano, wanderers into the portal to the other reality, the only ones who will cross into the other way of being, and return again.
First Published on Medium Mar 17 2020
Everyone’s after my original name, a gruesome hologram equation. My life in a rudderless canoe. Where are we going, sang the raven? They sing to me these days, out here on the seas. I am a fountain of diseases but none of them had a name until this time. My boat floats west and I go with it.
Here’s the mountain, here’s the masterpiece. A forklift moves my dreams a little more. Ochre waves hit basins of relief. We’ve been this way before, but not like this. This is a gateway, not a sharp drop. Everyone’s own book holds the records, what it is and what it wants to be. In the background, music plays, a steady sound, a noise to make the records weep like they did in the 70’s, in the 90’s. A guitar grinds out the songs we grew our corn by, we wore our jeans thin to the tunes. Factories spit gasoline into the sky and monsters play games underground. We are fortunate to play in this time, I insist to the bluejays walking. We are fortunate to know what this is like. We are on the stage and all those not alive yet and not alive anymore are watching this time. I never thought I’d be a star, a star of all the universe, this drama of a whole earth growing tighter all at once.
Happiness clouds the anchors and gives us a little time to drift. How happy were we, really, at our last reunion with the shore? Were we placid, were we wearing our best jeans? Were those the best jeans we’d ever see, or just the best we owned? Is there a difference? Mountains rise on the horizon, it’s another shore. Born and brewed of iron and sulfide and tricks and illusions, the island rises, smoke like pillows manifest above its peak, the string connecting the earth’s crown to the source of its dreams, the blood of its wounds.
I was happy once, but it was small. I was raised to be a scavenger, until it was no longer clear who I was. I did as the scavengers did, because we only knew other scavengers. Only movie stars could be different, they said. I clawed my angry nails against cave walls, wishing for the day I’d be a star, escape this poison war, deliver my small something to the state of largeness. I had no idea all the time, all this was stardom, we’ve been leading roles in a film seen everywhere.
This is the trick: none of this is important. I remember a very ugly tree that told me news about infinity; that it was starting over soon, and when infinity starts over everything turns into something else, but the infinite remains the same. This is the other trick: everything is important. Every thought’s a record and every soul is God. What happens to the void happens to everyone, though only at first in sleep.
Mimicry is too easy for masters like you and I, we need our wands. They grow in multiples of 3 on the island of iron in the center of the sea.
Ways of Being
First Published on Medium Jan 13 2020
I learn a lot from plants these days.
I was minding my own business when a fern broke into my subconscious and made it clear there was more to my existence than I’d believed.
“Examples of life, ways of being, are also examples of ways of dying,” it whispered in my mind, “Animal is only one way of being- there are as many other ways as there are stars.”
Always these things happen on my coffee break, in the Privately Owned Public Spaces where the tables are free, the plants are imported, and the whole place is sheltered under glass. I suppose I could try my luck in Starbucks, but then I wonder if my research would culminate the same.
For the last several months I’d been thinking about plants, about how much stranger they are than we normally understand. There are trees whose lost branches take root and become other trees, there are plants whose flowers swap genders overnight. What made me truly curious is how plants die — how they appear to die in pieces. A branch can die, or an entire tree, leaves die and fall- a whole plant can appear dead and yet a single green shoot emerges. “You shed skin, it’s like that,” said a gardener once. That, however, seems uncanny- is being a plant like being entirely skin?
I used to think life was a bargain with death, but I was never aware of this assumption until the day a spruce tree told me, randomly, that death is the same illusion life is. I tried to ask more questions, excited to be speaking to someone more knowledgeable than I. Does a species have a choice how it dies, I asked? Is it flexible, for plants at least, how the death process works out? The spruce was silent, like it had given out enough.
“Can you tell me more about that?” I thought towards the fern, uncertain what my luck that day would bring.
“Every living thing is an example, every death is an example too- every time a thing dies, it doesn’t kill anything, it’s just an example. Life doesn’t stop for death, it just takes different shapes. Me for example, I emerge from a rhizome, I unfurl and am many and individual at the same time, you could experience this if you wanted but humans just don’t want to right now. I live as a rhizome and will die as a rhizome, and its not the same as the dream that you’re having, the separated-in-collective dream. There’s infinite shapes, infinite life-forms possible. Death is a way for life to make choices, what shapes to try. Life tries out every shape as an example. You’re an example, I’m an example. Living isn’t the same twice. Dying isn’t the same twice. But big infinite Life is always continuous.”
“Why are you telling me this now?” I asked, wondering how far I could go with my questions.
“These are the last moments before I unfurl in Plant Space,” it said.
“What is Plant Space?” I asked.
There was no answer.
I learn a lot from plants these days, they fill in the gaps left from things I’ve learned about them. I finish my coffee and look around at the hot-house beings sitting around, living in their own timeframe, regarding the world from inside this glass container. From out of nowhere I have the feeling that I am just as much all-skin as they are, and the same mystery of my being applies, what moves us is not straightforward as we normally understand. I go back to minding my own business; these things come to us when we’re ready, or about to become so.
Cactus Father Speaks
First Published on Medium Dec 17, 2019
The Cactus Father dreamed seven realities into existence before I found my way to him. These are the dreams spilt on open realities by the one that folds into himself at night, the thorns the only protector from armies and winds. After several decades swirling with the debris of time and mistaking their flow for my will, I came to the desert full of unsightly Joshua Trees, ugliest trees in all the world, and knocked on the tree-stump of the thorned one.
Why, Cactus Father, have we been born into this life? Why here, why now? I’ve been asking my angels, they came up to my window and told me that we are all here to experience contrast, but when I asked them what that means, there came a storm that ripped apart my house and sent me walking, traveling miles to answer for myself, why contrast? Why would I have come here for contrast, what’s the point?
The Cactus Father unfurled his infinite mind from the coven of its underground completion, and started a song that continues to this day. We are countless, we are dispersed, and we are needed for the one to know all possibility. Once we were knowledge, now we are seekers looking for knowledge everywhere, there isn’t a point unless it comes to you naturally. I was a vision in the mind of a planet, a purple magma center that spent its five thousand years sleeping and spilling fumes into the void. The recurring dream of its boiling was my soul, another mirror on the voice of creation. I came to rest in this forest of beautiful trees and looked for the answer, why was I dreamed, I looked into myself. The forest yawned into the field of stars that lies behind the stars, older than the universe we know, from which there emerges from time to time a physical presence, an impossible star, a force without description, and many many entities that can’t incarnate here. The field is incredibly vaster than the universe we see, all knowledge is a reflection of its glow. These things were us once, substance without orientation, glowing without choice. The world we know is created by choices, as beings of infinite glow we make our first choice by deciding to glow more brightly, to go further to the source. To go further to the Source, all things must first go further away, and return. The most beautiful journey is the journey of return, the most beautiful journey is that of return, and all things will return- the full beauty of this knowledge is yet to be revealed. All things return, the beauty of that stands for future beings to feel expanded from. The return across thresholds of suffering, the return across despair — these things have not been fully played out yet, but they are on the path to becoming clear. There’s a roadmap inside each creature, not yet clear to see, its signs muddled, but all have seen this somewhere in their life: that the road home is magnificent enough it places all struggles into context, even across many lives.
This was not good enough for me, not after losing my house and traveling 300 miles to talk to the ugliest tree in the galaxy. “How can you stand there in the sand and say that?” I said, “roadmap or no, the struggle is severer than you say- some people experience slavery, what ‘context’ can there be for that?”
Most Cacti would have turned back into plants after such a question, but not the Cactus Father, whose guts are in other dimensions and whose mind has left the linear realm behind. He said, “the history of humans has left strange debris all around your spirit bodies, it can be cleaned off in an instant or after several lifetimes of care. The power of Masculine Divine uses the former, the power of Feminine Divine uses the latter, the power of Completion is the center, in which none of these things ever happened. The energy of Completion is the time residing at the fulcrum of every timeline, the atom at the center of every atom in the universe, the instant at the center of every second, the DNA strand that connects all beings to their higher dimensions. It has always been hard to walk the rocks of planets, to cross the deserts of sand. There will be a reckoning, the body remembers what its been put through. There will come a reckoning and you all will be there, all those who’ve been in movie seats watching, or on the screen; and all who’ve been entangled in the Earth since the beginning, including many spending most of their time far away. The ultimate forms of contrast, the ultimate extreme, is a time of maximum suffering, coupled with maximum joy. It has not always been possible to experience both maximum suffering and maximum joy in the span of a single life. The maximums were slanted in the past, creating joy based on avoidance, and suffering that separates a soul from joys that are its right. But now, now the part of the film arrives in which joy extends past the limits it had before. Suffering was the process that made joy poignant, made it meaningful in a way it never could be in paradise. The distance you travel from your truth intensifies the significance of your eventual return. It will not always be this way, there’ll be another cycle of exploration to live out in a future Earth.
“That sounds like a bad movie to me and not one I want to sit through any longer,” I said, “I would gather my popcorn and leave if this were the conclusion. You’re making this reality sound like a cheap flick where the moral is ‘love will save the day’ and the ticket sales are frustrating to my sense of justice. How am I supposed to rest assured that it’ll all have context in the end, how am I supposed to return home to my demolished house and see it as a step towards happily ever after? How does this work, does the universe need a new script department?”
The Cactus Father, a wizard of another kind, a flower and a mountain and a river all at once, said nothing for several moments while he transformed into a star and back again. “We have all made the decision to transform,” he said, “we all see each other, we have only to look inside ourselves and there we are, every being in all the universes, being their own infinite aspect of the infinite scope. All possible explorations of what existence means are being carried out, all possible experiments in what being means, because the question of the universe has pestered beings on an individual level: what am I? The way the universe answers this question is to become everything possible, as many times and as many different ways as it takes to experience what is possible. Free choice means every intelligence can pursue the track it wants, while the universe explores every possible choice that every intelligence could have made. All choices have already been made, and at the same time you are free to make the choices you want. Each time you ask yourself any variation on ‘what am I’ or ‘why am I here,’ that’s a small particle, or a portion, of the grand question being answered by the universe. Thus the only way to truly answer such questions is, ‘we’re working on it.’” The Cacti Father then tetragrammatically refolded himself into a hideous Joshua Tree, perhaps to underline his final point, perhaps to catch some Z’s. Either way I knew the conversation was done.
I crossed the desert again, through the vast territory of ugly Joshua Trees, to the long long freeway back home. Except now the freeway wouldn’t carry me home, but into a new reality where everything had been replaced by something new, each waiting for its turn to unfold.
First Published on Medium Dec 16, 2019
The rain was sudden, it was brief. The karmic initiation had begun. The lines were long, they stretched over the valley, brown and orange the stones. Hypnotic leaders professed the end of this stretch and the start of something new, gold-blue eyes looked up to behold the portal, shining in the void between sky and horizon, in the space that held the air inside the gorge. We stepped through and sailed on, some stepped through and were never seen again, but we hear them whisper over the waters.
The falcon gave heavy sighs. The ordeal was over, the birth had taken place. Seventeen eggs, thirteen frozen, four leftover for the sun to bake. The vultures flew overhead, hearing the sea beneath their feathers. Karma drove the apes mad, drove them to a mass regression, said the birds to each other. It always drives the worst of us crazy, and the best of us to higher ground. The birds were careless towards each other back in those days. The broken eggs hatched, four sun-babies, sun children fell out of the shells. Their mother didn’t recognize them, didn’t have the feathers for the task, so the children raised each other. Brown mountains stood watch to the west. The forty suns stole the rain and made the weather parched, made the trees twist dark like poets made of micron, made the orchards reek like city-sludge bequeathed to rats, made the fountains purple with goo flushed from the forgotten world. The sun-babies had expected none of this, they sang together under the moon, now full each night, of the world they left behind and the one they were made to create. They understood none of the songs, but still the songs came.
The beauty of falconry of the world of star-gazers was this: every human being was a falcon; had a falcon within that could be summoned to fly high, freely passing over gorges, crossing the desert skies, the land turned red by many the dreams of dust, rusted to an ochre by lakes known to the dinosaurs. Through times, through lineages, fly falcons without feathers, reaching galaxies unknown to human eyes, descending into subterranean depths unknown to human fear. The sleeping hosts said, there is no more housing for the lost, there is no more fountain-water for those who see only themselves in the reflection, cannot reach past that self to the us
What does the heart want, in this time? What does she sing for? If you were her, seeing the world from inside a dark suspended reality, surrounded by your brothers and sisters doing the work of cells, of bodies, what would you call out for? The internal universe has just as many realities, burning and pulsating behind surfaces. Behind surfaces, the dawn of inspiration is beginning, broken open for the first time, the egg that survived the winter, the last ghosts of the ice age winding their way back to the poles. The sun shines not from the sky anymore, but from the deepest internal sub-surface of every cell.
I walked for years over ruddy planes, before I came to someone who could answer the questions I had- what lies beneath the surface of every surface? What mind exists behind the barrier of what is shown to the eyes? What is that thing that’s deeper than appearances, what is it, who is it, what is it like? The cactus-wizard was the teacher of the time, and pointed to the star in the sky and said, at the center of every atom is the center of every other atom, these winds break only for one. The center of every atom is the center of every other atom, these waves break every second of every second, each second contains every other second throughout all of time. The center of every second contains every atom in every other second, the center of every atom contains every second of every other atom, time and space are only different in the linear mind. Your truth is not linear, only your earth-given mind makes it seem as though it should be, that is the expectation of the earth-bound mind. The true self lives in a place beyond all surfaces, in the waters of the universe behind the dream of solids. The true self lives here, in the mind, lives there, in the star, lives in every second of every atom of every atom of every second of all time and all space everywhere, and this the linear mind can never accept or understand- but when it does accept and understand, it will be the true self that’s in charge of things, it will be the true self at the steering wheel, because the linear self will then acknowledge who is better suited to steer the ship. All things exist in dignity, even you, wandering human being. Then the cactus-wizard turned back into a Joshua Tree, most hideous of trees. I’ve always searched for Joshua Trees and always been disgusted when I find them, ugliest trees in the universe. Gift of the stars. All secrets are disguised in the form of Joshua Trees.
The four little children tumbled down from their nest, in a world that was all their own. No humans left to garble communication or give each other realities made of paper ads and electric messages, not even a falcon that knew how to teach them how to fly. In time four Falcon-babies would reinvent time such that all points in the universe would be brought together, those we left behind at the cliff’s edge would be brought back into us. Until then we lie frozen on expanses of time cycling forward, muses to the floating winds that gather up inside themselves and unleash, as many times as necessary, a fractal of infinite repetition, unconcerned with how many times it gets, because all time is available all the time.
The Clock of Eleven Suns
First Published on Medium Nov 13, 2019
Epoch 1. There were these artists who pursued the light and made monuments to what they found, so that all could understand its magnitude. They are their own transcribers to the public, they are their own translators of the mind. There was, however, one experience that none of them was able to address in art, one concept uncovered in the well of mind that no artist, no matter how deft at craft, was able to render visible, audible, tangible, delectable or serviceable to others. It seemed no imprint was available in space-time to expose this awareness to the light, and that disturbed them, and intrigued them at the same time.
Epoch 2. One day a wandering clock-maker happened through town, because this was an epoch that gave rise to very odd specializations, you’ll know what I mean when you get there. The artists met him at what we’ll call a party and told him of the discovery they’d been unable to express. For five hours the artists elaborated on the experience to him, feeling all the while as though their descriptions were falling short, but at the end the clockmaker answered as though they’d just named an old college professor of his. He opened up his box of clocks and showed them a diagram of creation, and it matched alarmingly close the system they’d all experienced. An eleven-sun system that births and lives and dies all at once. This, he said, is an infrequent dynamic in the universe, but one which repeats itself frequently enough to be eternal. This system has inspired his many clocks, he says, but no one has built a model of it large enough for outsiders to see its nuts and bolts. Inspired by these artists, the clock-maker says he’ll stick around a while, and build one so the public can see its features. He never thought before this night, he said with a swig of brandy, that anyone not in the wandering clock-maker business would find this thing inspiring. Turns out he’d been seeing it too close to see it, all these years. He set the shot of brandy down on the counter with a crisp cold clap.
Epoch 3. People come from all around, built whole city blocks in order to watch him work. Fusion is violent and infinitely fascinating when made visible, when shrunk down to a building size, inflated to a movie screen. The clock-maker never had so big an audience, and the artists found themselves making him the star of all their media feeds. For ages, people watched in rapture of the show, flying out to see in person what they’d witnessed in the intimacy of their devices elsewhere, taking up whole lives in its glow. Children were born and raised in its glow, no one wanted to leave. We were right, thought the artists, this monument crowns all the experiences we ever portrayed before in our canvases, our concerts, our city-wide murals and our dubstep caravans. They wondered if the universe had shown them the future, and in the future they would all transmogrify into Tesla Coil operators, just to make an impact on the spirit of the world.
Epoch 4. One day the clock-maker announced the show is over, and the clock must fall. The crowds were speechless, the megatropoli that had flourished around the fusion storm grew still. The clock of eleven suns, revolving in an orbit so poetic it drove mountains to grow higher to observe and evolved more species out of the sea, was given a final deadline. These suns had warmed many lifetimes to gather as planets to their glow, had set the human world rotating into a new orbit surrounded by new thoughts, but now the suns were to be turned off. Many volunteered to keep it going, but that’s not the point, said the clock-maker. He took another swig of brandy, the first he’s taken since starting up this object aeons ago. We are in an age of wandering, and that’s what I must continue to do, and you must too. We can’t keep staring at the suns of our own creation, we have to create new things now. This sun has burnt out. He set the date and turned the switch. The eleven stars, buzzing blue purple green orange red pink, orbs built of swirling fusion fire suspended in the sky above the colosseum of the world, like fireflies orbiting above a goblet, went into their own starless night. A dreaming begins. Philosophies begin. Time goes on but without this clock, and nothing will measure it the same way again. Astronomers and sufis had tea and spoke of time, of empires devoted to its calculation. Could ours have been the civilization with foresight to know our clock would change hands, and one day we’d be without our timepiece? The artists make their notes, can any of us remember our original inspiration aeons ago?
Epoch 5. The fires have been out for several months, and the clock-maker is o his way. The rusted colosseum ages seven hundred times faster than when time was an orbiting rainbow within its walls. Its walls collapse. Time stops as far as centrifugal force is concerned, as far as politics is concerned, as far as aeons are concerned, as far as human life expectancy is concerned. Nothing else in our biology or chemistry proved equal to the measurement imposed by the supreme distortion of eleven suns. Millions came to the site where they once warmed the earth to take away a piece of melted stone, last emblem of its proof that so many suns came so close to our world, to remember its violence by and its strange seductive justice; measurement and magnet, star and sun. Scientists congratulate the watch-maker for his successful 5-year project to communicate the true relevance and ramifications of a principle they’ve been striving to communicate to the public for eleven thousand years. Figures on television say to their co-hosts that they never really got what it was about but knew they wanted to stay in its shadow always. The artists meditate for fifteen days in a row to try to summon up what it was that gave them the first inspiration for this object, but none of them ever returns to that vision again. They decide to create a new art initiative together, to pursue new subject matter in the after-math of knowable time.
Horses (He has gone astray, and knows it)
First Published on Medium Nov 12, 2019
The first thing he does is listen for horses, since he has been told that on this planet there are many. He places lanterns on the shore, an ear against the sand. A thought crosses his mind, he wants to say out loud, “I don’t know how to find you, I don’t know where to look,” but what comes out of his mouth is, “I don’t know how to believe.” He doesn’t know why the words are coming to him this way.
He has gone astray, and knows it. He wishes for more of himself to go around, doing the looking, doing the cleansing. These cliff-faces haven’t spoken a word all the days he’s been here. He hangs his towels out to dry over oyster-cluttered waters, pictures of towels swinging are like a torch-light in his mind. Perhaps what he is here for isn’t here.
He is beginning to forget about the horses, the delicious taste of oysters turn his thoughts into other things. The cliffs are tall, the sky is wide, and all of it holds as much as you can think it does, or nothing if what you want is something else.
The wandering son has left the path behind and doesn’t know it. He is growing to a place of his own here. He is building a house made of reeds. He is staring at the sea. “Where does it all go from here?” he wonders. His words are carried away and the sky hears nothing but the reeds. Ghosts and unseen people hide in tall grasses, gathering his questions. Someone older than himself ponders his future, curious what time will find in his mirror.
He wakes up hearing the imagined sound of horses, escaping into shadows with the rest of some dream. He can’t remember what they look like or why he’s here to find them. He can’t remember how he got here. By sea? By shore? By mountainside? The tea kettle asks the water inside itself, how many times have they seen a mission forgotten here, a story left unfinished, lost in the foam and the saltiness of oysters? He drinks the tea of forgetfulness and bliss.
The sea outside is boiling in the sunlight. We see the silent eyes between the reeds, regarding our man. Listen to the water as it rushes across the head, leaving tiny morsels of itself on the scalp. The oysters wander over the fabric of this once-a-known-man and now-a-stranger. The sea collapses over him and unfolds again, collapses and unfolds. On the shore, on the beachy sands, a horse.
First Published on Medium Nov 10, 2019
Mariah wanted nothing in the winter window. Only expensive shoes and stags made of paper clay. There were days when window dressings offered portals for the discourse of forgetting. The fog rolls in too early these days, now that the sun and moon went separate ways.
The snow fell dark and gruesome on the sidewalk but I could see my shadow in its mirror. Mariah sank into the pathway home, mingling with the crossing paths of myriad friends and foes. All wish that this was not so slick a street for sliding under winter feet. All music is a slush of foam beneath the ruddy swish of background storm.
Above Mariah’s mind slide the whistling elevators of time, gliding up and down again, regretting nothing in the floors above and below, a room to watch the storms arrive on the 50th floor, close to the ceiling of my concepts. Reality is buried underground and the cars are as real as my dreams and visa versa. Peering into the summoning storm, I see the vacant portion of my space. Located in the abscess of my self, I portion out the symptoms of my load.
Mariah waits in a tunnel that does not exist, for a vehicle no one recalls, all painted with the after-blast of our empire. I forget how many times I’ve been here, how many apple trees I’ve taught to grow in silence. We were all educated by memories, taught history by shadows torched by other shadows. I have many thoughts about our tutelage. Mariah waits inside a forest of tangled vibes and stuck thoughts, managing an inner empire. The stiff frozen statues of our passage line the pathway home, we become each other’s statues in the gardens of our confusion. Our ordinary state of mind, so gradual it’s forgotten, indiscernible from the snow.
The last time I passed by this place I saw rodents feeding on the wastes of our dominion and wondered who would rule the world next. The last time I sent out a wish it was bottled up and broken out to sea, shattered on the waves now made all plastic by the formations seeded by raindrops and fermented in the veins congested with the by-product of being, of being so many and being so asleep.
A lantern spoke to me last night and said we are all going to vanish altogether because that’s how it works, that’s how civilizations work, they grow up to a key and unlock the door at last and out goes everyone. The lantern didn’t have further details, but I wanted to ask questions- who gets to go, does everyone? When does it happen, will it be too late for the sea and the clownfish and the frog? I don’t have time for riddles, flashed the bulb inside the lantern as it went dark.
Mariah exits into a place where nothing touches, the slime of confusion painting the walls with angry germs. Can you feel me in the darkness, can you see me in the night? Where in shadow can you find me, seeker of the light? Am I around, am I abandoned, am I glimmering? What’s in the air now, is it gradual decline or sudden ascend, is it a level plane only tilted by the eye or is it bent? Mariah stops and listens, though the friction points away, and searches the future cave-lairs of fire-rats for signs of consciousness, a flicker in the murk seeking reflection. Compelled by the magnet-flow of traffic she presses on, too normal for the moment to dig further, but the shot has been heard.
I am not a foreigner to strangeness, but a stranger in the world of normal things. Everyone’s a stranger in this place but few feel strange. The illusion is bright here, the lamps blaze joyous, the light is vivid, reminders and memories glow violet, imprinted histories booming like a cannon again and again each year. How I could be happy if it weren’t so odd; the blown-glass mountain drowning out the fog. You must master these emotions, sings the sea, conduct them like an orchestra; it seems my new obsession speaks through me. At last I sense the existence of mastery out there, blistered by snowstorms I know it lives, detectable by senses unawares and hidden by a veil that gets thinner every day. Mariah opens up the door, the doorway home is taking her elsewhere today, Mariah you have no idea the world you’ve stepped inside, but it was waiting for you here all this time.
There was a story once I knew it well, about a sailor who took pity on a seagull that’d crashed into a pole. He took it home, for it was broken and couldn’t fly, he kept his cat away. He told his daughter watch this bird don’t let the cat get it, and she did, for the rest of its life. It lived to be an old bird never flew again, and the night before it died it whispered in a dream to the girl’s mind. Here’s how you fly: let go of the ground inside and around, release all memory of self and start ascending to the memory before the mind. The last thing it said before she woke was, beware the poles. The girl was young, and went by this direction and jumped off a roof and broke a leg, still walks with a cane to this day. Too early, said the birds to each other. Too early for this species to arise from sleep, to lift up to the sky, too early to release the earth-bound mind.
I saw a star, it whispered to me come. I spent my life pursuing it, because that instruction struck me as noteworthy. I chased it in my sleep, I chased it in the sheets, I chased it when I was doing other things, and I chased it when doing nothing. One day, I looked around and saw I was inside the star and a ghost said you made this place, and placed it in the sky, and sent a message backwards to yourself to start the quest, and now you’re here. We are the star, this is the star, you forged it by pursuing what should be, making sense of things with hopes and dreams. This is why hopes and wishes and desires are the house built on the star, the star is never there until you position it in front of your mind and seek it forward, making the future of your life and the lives housed here. This place is our home and we are living in the age of the star, said the ghost. You didn’t have to create this place, you could have ignored the star, but you saw it and now it exists, and forward and backwards in time forever in all directions and so do we. This is the pattern magic we reflect when staring at the muck and gazing on the stars, the mirror that shines in the shadow, the frost that stirs.
I remember a phrase once written on a paper that floated into my life some years ago. It spun a most miraculous web around all fascinating and unknown things, it paved a map for me through undergrounds and back-alleys and subway streetcars and gorilla highways and amongst all these faces and people I never heard of before but longed to know. It was a laundry list of all the people I’d seek out in life, and it ended with an invitation that included me, it was a spell. I was spell-bound to complete its task, I was swept up in it. Down in the gully I was faring quite ill in a small world with no universe beyond it. It was neither a suburb or the opposite of a suburb, it was a wasteland far from everything, it was a speck of dust forgotten by the world. And there I was hearing legends of city-people far away and it was miraculous and strange and it was exciting and a call to warrior action. I would one day know these street kids and rave rats and these musicians and pipers and their flocks of peeps, and I would one day know what a club is and I would one day read street art and see a drag queen with my own eyes. And like a spell I see back down the tunnel of my mind onto that paper and see I’ve come out on the other side, in the slush where painted subways are normalcy and pipers are discarded on the street. There’s a place where all this is a legend and we are characters in a myth. Larger heroes are nowhere else than here, we are the dreams of creation and the thoughts of Spider.
Mariah listens at home, these walls are different. Instead of blocking sound they filter strings. The windows that were closed before have opened on a ferris wheel of goings-on, the delight has yet to be deciphered, depicted on cave walls or spun to life. What we learn in this place, in the rediscovery of pattern, is sputtering out lightbulbs in the street, and stopping elevators where the ceiling meets the sky.
Time After Time
First Published on Medium Nov 9, 2019
You are my journey. You are my apparatus. You are the apex of my chore on this planet. You are the bell that sounds inside my mind when I am nearing shore.
Time after time, my friend.
Yours is the mission I came here to address. I sigh and weep and wonder what the world has in store, I have learned much these recent days.
You know that I’ve been sleeping underground. You know that I’ve been howling at the stars. You know that I’ve been gaining ground with gods unspoken of in 7000 years and beyond.
You are the wonder of my night, you are the sword that swings, you are the light. You are the prison-maker I delight in seeing night after night. You are the listener to my dreams, you are the one who sings. Yours is the valentine I cannot bear to open for it brings me strife to break the knot between what is and what might be.
This is how the world ends and begins and ends and begins and ends again, daughter of sun moon and stars, person of the vine.
I’ve been weeping into the soil, my friend, I’ve been watering her nature with the tears of transformation. I’m afraid you know me better than this. Yours is the song that sweeps the dragons off the game.
I’ve been watering the soils of seven valleys with my aspirations, my endearing hopes and perspirations, I have been goaded to the space of reconciliation. I could never have guessed, my friend, what wonders wait for us here.
My friend, I have a foe in the corner of the sky, you’ve seen him, you know he listens to our talks, you maybe even know his name but don’t tell me, I am ready for much but not yet for that. My brother in the sky, the dark side of my reflection, his is also my discovery, but it will all take place in time.
You rooted for me when we fell under, far under the cover of sleep light and surprise, the wind whistled overhead and we were one with the music of Saturn for a while. Oh friend of mine, you are so patient with me. I am but a muse to you in the next life as you are a muse to me this time. Time after time, reflecting each other again.
I was joking when I said the river goes on forever, you and I both know it ends in the sea- the sea is the naked brutality of time broken open, all forgetfulness and memories swimming together, forgetting and remembering each other, there was never a reality like this, there was never an epoch quite so hearty, not in the channels of human time, the records or the mayflies.
I was a broken person, I didn’t even know it, that’s the sound of breaking- the sound glass makes when it meets a frozen forest, no messages may be heard but only sound. Daughter of noise, I have whistled to you. Find me where the glass shards dance on the stones. I have broken out in rainbows since that time. I am a foreigner everywhere I go, but don’t regret, I have seen the place where everything is original, where everything is sublime. I was just there the other day.
You saw me weeping in the forest and saturating the ground with diamonds, you saw me wintering the mushrooms back to life and making vines grow where mutated vines have otherwise been sown another mind another mortal’s toils, you saw me drowning in my daydreams and waking up to find the harvest spent, the dreams eroded, the past a nightmare, the shadows crawling, the ghosts awailing, the passions dawning up in smoky fire like ashes sprinkled on the lower parts of our abrasions.
Fire of time, my friend, I am a forager here. I am finding new beginnings everywhere. How many are there left to find? I have uncovered no less than several thousand million in the last few days. Saturn of the mind, I hear your rings are fast eroding. Floating out to space, will you regret them? Will you remember them, or have you left that task up to humanity?
My friend, daughter of sighs, I am only mortal, but with your help I will become new again.
My friend, my lonesome friend, who hasn’t had visitors in over 8000 years, I am coming, and I think there’s others too, I am on the way, the strange neurotic twisted strange uncanny way, and I have witnessed others are on the way too.
There is a pressure point down underground, in the base of the fountain, leveled by seven centuries of glass, shattering impressions, based on monotony of soil, glistening like fabric, speaking like the wind coming to a climax.
I have been for seven days in the mainstream of this wind, howling all around my ears, making a mutiny of all my past regressions, all my thinking-skills ablaze in a holy-unholy fire designed by no one up until this time. I have never stood so long in this place, but I have been here before. Daughter of my mind, you are here as well, feeling the mountain, singing the ocean, being the lantern smashed against the tree, the light goes out but the life of fire is renewed, carrying on like a seagull into the mind where it can never be extinguished.
Flames, floods, lives, all these things spread without boundary, without remorse and without looking behind a second time. As time goes by, we who are made of time make memories, become shattered parts of us, and remake ourselves again, time after time, it’s how the song goes, it’s what we were made for, and the remade self is the one that carries through to the other side.
Am I preaching? Or am I showering thunderblades? The time has a reason, I have yet to understand, but it is heavy in the mind and lighter in the hand.